Ontario is ending its grace period for expired licence plate stickers and photo ID cards
There will be no more free rides for people with old licence plate stickers in Ontario. The province is officially reinstating its renewal requirements for expired documents that have been okay to use for roughly 18 months now due to the pandemic.
Driver's licences, Ontario health cards, Ontario Photo Cards, licence plate stickers and all other products that "would have expired on or after March 1, 2020, but were extended to provide immediate relief to Ontarians during the COVID-19 pandemic" must be valid and up-to-date beginning Feb. 28, 2022.
"The majority of Ontarians have continued to renew their documents during the pandemic, despite unprecedented challenges," said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney when announcing the news Thursday.
"It's critical that drivers and vehicle owners have up-to-date documents for work, access to services and travel, and to keep our roads safe. I strongly encourage those who have deferred their renewals — approximately 17 per cent of Ontarians — to plan ahead and renew their documents online."
The province says it has put a February deadline in place to give everyone enough time to renew, making the overall grace period nearly two years long by the time all is said and done.
Ontario has reinstated renewal deadlines for all products that would have expired on or after March 1, 2020, including:— Ontario Ministry of Transportation (@ONtransport) September 1, 2021
• driver’s licences
• licence plate stickers
• Ontario Photo Cards and health cards
For a full list, visit: https://t.co/LxazWJ3w75 pic.twitter.com/vMc9PP2gzm
There are exceptions to the rule, however, for some types of licences. Heavy commercial vehicle owners must renew their validations by Dec. 31, 2021. Novice licence holders (drivers with G1, G2, M1 and M2 licences) have until the end of 2022 to upgrade to the next level.
Key to note for people who think they've saved a bunch of money by not renewing their plates during the extended validity period: The province says you'll still be required to pay the fee for previous years, in addition to the current year renewal fee. Stickers cost about $120 per year, for the record.
Those needing to renew their licences can at least breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they don't have to visit a Service Ontario kiosk to do so right now, as Ontario has "temporarily waived requirements for people to renew their driver's licences in person, including those for senior drivers."
Eligible drivers can currently renew their driver's licence online at ServiceOntario.ca, including those aged 80 and over. You can visit this specific page on the website to renew your licence and health card together.
It'll cost you $90 to renew your licence for a period of five years, though the province notes that these fees may vary based on the expiry date listed on your document.
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